New Band Aid Single Taking Shape

Initial details have been nailed down for the impending all-star recording of a "Band Aid III" charity single.

Initial details have been nailed down for the impending all-star recording of a "Band Aid III" charity single. A date has not yet been set for the new recording of the 1984 best-seller "Do They Know It's Christmas," but it will be released, like the original, on Mercury, Universal Music U.K. & Ireland chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge tells Billboard. Proceeds will again benefit the Band Aid Trust to aid famine in Africa.

"We're in the process of putting it together," says Grainge. "Logistically, it's an extraordinary event. Every four or five hours there's a new twist or turn."

Grainge says the rest of the team "making it happen" comprises the song's original writers and Band Aid protagonists Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, original Band Aid Trust member Chris Morrison and Mercury U.K. managing director Greg Castell.

The original single led to the global fundraising phenomenon Live Aid the following year. A second version of the song, featuring a different cast of artists, topped the British charts in 1989. The first "Do They Know It's Christmas" sold a reported three million copies in the United Kingdom alone, including more than 600,000 in its first week. It was for many years the best-selling British single of all time.

In a statement posted on his Web site yesterday (Oct. 21), Ultravox frontman Ure said the impetus for the impending recording came from Dominic Mohan, a journalist with the tabloid British newspaper the Sun, who "approached Bob [Geldof] and I about re-recording the single and we thought it was a great idea. So far we've had the backing of Chris Martin [of Coldplay], Fran Healy [of Travis], the Darkness and Keane. Nigel Godrich [producer of Radiohead and others] will produce and I'll exec-produce. So we're looking forward to a Christmas No. 1!"

Grainge says "most" of the artists who have been reported in recent British media coverage to be contributing to the recording are indeed taking part. Asked if the new version would be released with a view to securing the coveted Christmas No. 1 spot in the U.K. singles chart, Grainge said, "It would be rude not to."

Asked the same question, Castell said, "I'm just going to work really closely with the Band Aid Trust, because the priority is to raise money for tragedy. I've got a real responsibility for Mercury to do their bit well."

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